A Stupid Story (True) from 30 years ago
Thirty years ago, I decided to move to the country and become a farmer. I don’t know what I was thinking; I had been working overseas, so I always blame it on having a little money and less sense. Anyway, I bought a little place about 60 miles from the closest major metroplex. I was 3 miles from the little town I now live in on 15 acres with a barn, chicken house, well, no air conditioning, and dirt road. I had arrived!!
I loved the windmill. I loved the cool water and the noise it made as the wind blew the flapper things around and around. I didn’t really understand much about it; like the giant tank that sat up in the air, the little pipe that went up and down in the bigger pipe with the big hole in it. As you can tell, I certainly didn’t know any technical terms for any piece on that wonderful machine that gave me my water. And then I had to learn.
All of the sudden, one day I did not have any water. I had no idea what to do, and the only person that I sort of knew, was my closest neighbor – an older women around 80 who was born and raised in the county. Her mother had died when she was young, and she had to take care of an entire family at a very young age. As if that wasn’t enough, she then was widowed early with four small children. She was left to run a dairy and raise the children all alone.
So who would you ask? Margaurite told me to go look at that rod that went down in that pipe, and at the very top the pipe should be going up and down in that pipe. If it was wiggling around and not stable in the big pipe with the hole, it probably needed a set of leathers. Leathers evidently caused the rod in the pipe to be secure enough to cause suction to bring the water up out of the well. O.K. easy enough. She told me to just go to the feed store in town and ask for a set of leathers.
I was a busy person, like everyone else, and it took me a few hours to get to town to the feed store. It just so happened lots of the local men were there. It was obviously the place that men solved the majority of world problems, yet they always stopped that important job to stare when anyone came in. (I assumed it was anyone, or maybe it was just me.)
I went straight to the counter to get what I needed so I could get out of there. “I need a set of rubbers,” I said. “A set of what?” asked the feed store clerk. “Rubbers,” I replied. By now everyone was gaping at me, and a snicker began to roll through the feed store.
By now I realized that something was not quite right, but I didn’t know what. “Rubbers,” I said, “Rubbers.” At this point, the poor clerk, red-faced, said pointedly to me, “Maam, what are you going to do with them,” to which I replied, “I need them for my windmill.”
Do you think they got a laugh??? And 30 years later there are some that still remember it. I do